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  OPPO BDP-80 Universal Blu-ray Player

      Date posted: April 9, 2010

Oppo BDP-80 Universal Blu-Ray Player
OPPO BDP-80 Universal Blu-ray Player

Sugg. Retail: $297CAD/$289USD

Online Canada/US dealer: Only Best Rated,  www.onlybestrated.com

This newest model from budget beater OPPO  has to be the best value in a universal player yet, according to the following description from the Only Best Rated web site:
“The BDP-80 is a full-featured universal Blu-ray Disc™ player that supports BD Profile 2.0 (BD-Live and BonusView), DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD (SACD), HDCD, CD and other popular media formats such as AVCHD, MKV video files, digital photos and music. Sharing the same decoder and similarly optimized firmware as OPPO’s award-winning BDP-83, the BDP-80 features fast disc load times, quick response to user operations, and robust audio and video controls. In contrast to the BDP-83, which utilizes an onboard VRS by Anchor Bay video processor, the BDP-80 design has been optimized for use as a digital audio/video transport, emphasizing the accuracy of its digital audio/video outputs. At the same time, the BDP-80 is versatile enough to be used as a stand-alone universal Blu-ray player, thanks to its full array of output connections and audio/video decoding capabilities.”

“For video, the BDP-80 features an HDMI 1.3 port that supports 1080p Full HD, 1080p 24Hz, Deep Color and Source Direct modes. Component video, S-Video and Composite video connections are also available for legacy analog displays. In addition to its faithful reproduction of high-definition pictures on Blu-ray Discs, the player can up-convert DVD from standard definition up to 1080p to maximize DVD picture quality. Its “Source Direct” output mode makes the BDP-80 incredibly well suited as a digital transport to feed into an external video processor, a high-end A/V receiver or display device with built-in video processing.”

OPPO BDP-80, rear view

“For audio, the BDP-80 supports internal decoding and bitstream output of the latest sound formats including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio. The BDP-80 also features a configurable 7.1-channel analog output that can be set as 7.1-channel, 5.1-channel, or stereo. When playing SACD, the BDP-80 can output DSD (Direct Stream Digital) over HDMI in its native format or convert it into high-resolution PCM. For compatibility with many legacy A/V receivers and DACs, the BDP-80 also provides an optical and coaxial digital audio output.”"The initial setup of the BDP-80 is a breeze with its Easy Setup Wizard and well-written manual. Setup menus on the player can be accessed without interruption to disc playback. The front and back USB 2.0 ports enable easy access to music, photo and video files. The BDP-80 comes standard with 1GB of internal storage built-in so that no additional memory card or flash drive is needed to use BD-Live and BonusView features. Featuring a brushed metallic front panel and dimmable display, the BDP-80 fits nicely in any home theater environment, ranging from simple to high-end.”

I was interested in this player as much for its audio capabilities as its video quality. That said, I started my evaluation with our standard Blu-ray and DVD video test discs through the Anthem LTX-500 1080p projector onto our Vutec  92″ pull-up screen. The discs included Joe Kane’s Digital Video Essentials  in both Blu-ray and DVD editions, and the FDP Benchmark Software disc. There are tests for colour, resolution, greyscale, geometric performance, and motion artifacts, to mention some of the main criteria. The BDP-80 did very well on all of these, showing excellent blacks and gradations to white, with perfect geometry (the latter usually a concern more for display devices than disc players, of course), with very good de-interlacing and little or no mosquito noise in most cases. This means that there will be a high level of detail retention in pans or with moving objects on the screen. I did see a little dot crawl on the Benchmark disc test, and mild jerkiness on pans, but no other Blu-ray player in our experience has done better on these demanding tests.
BDP-83 optional remote
I found the OPPO  mechanism quite fast in loading and handling discs compared to earlier Blu-ray players. The controls on the un-backlit (it does glow briefly in the dark) remote control were logically arranged and quite easy to find in dim illumination. If you must have back lighting, you can order the remote for the more expensive BDP-83  separately.

With real world video material the OPPO BDP-80 was outstanding, both visually and audibly, starting with our DTS Master Sound  sampler, listening through the player’s analog multichannel outputs. Though I haven’t seen or heard the BDP-83’s improved performance at thrice the price, I am somewhat skeptical at such an improvement when the BDP-80  is this good, especially when you consider that it’s all a question  of which chipsets are used for the audio and video circuits. But perhaps these considerations are coloured by my very extensive and happy experience with the sonic performance of the DV-980H, which is the universal (SACD, DVD-A, CD, etc.) player in my 8-channel audio system, also direct from its analog outputs.

Getting back to the BDP-80 at hand, I found Diana Krall in Rio quite seductive, if a bit grainy at times in the stage video, and the Quincy Jones 75th Birthday Concert superb in video and audio, capturing the big band sound perfectly. These Eagle Rock Blu-ray discs were supplemented by a look at The Devil Wears Prada, a gorgeously shot film full of beautiful women, the exception being of course the one wearing Prada, played by Merryl Streep, who looks like her name. I could look into Anne Hathaway’s big eyes all day long. Thus spaced out, I then looked at A View From Space, which was so pure in its colours that I felt I was in orbit looking out the shuttle window.

Turning to DVDs, my first choice was The Thomas Crown Affair, another very well shot movie that has more detail than many others in this format. I was very impressed by the video quality, which approached that of Blu-ray to a surprising degree. I don’t think owners of the BDP-80 need worry about their DVD collection looking bad on it. Of course, this only underscores what I previously saw on the Video Essentials  DVD’s demo material. This is a true universal video player, as long as you don’t think about laserdiscs.

I would rank the outright picture quality just a hair below that of the more expensive NAD player recently reviewed, but it’s awfully close, even if the relative prices aren’t. I won’t go on about the other discs I watched over a couple of weeks, but they confirmed the consistent excellence in picture quality on either DVD or Blu-ray.
Oppo BDP-80 Universal Blu-Ray Player (raked angle)
I also threw in a few CDs, starting with my own Bellingham Sessions, Vol. 1 (I guess I know it pretty well by now). I must say, it sounded very good, just as I expected from 192 kHz upsampling. I would say that the audio capabilities come close to, or surpass, those of many claimed audiophile CD players (as does the DV-980H), and that’s a little secret that many high end companies don’t want you to know.

This is a lot of audio and video performance, close to state of the art in the latter category, quite amazing for around $300 in either currency. OPPO  seems to be able to combine optimum performance with incredible pricing, and the BDP-80  is just the latest example. Go for it!

Andrew Marshall

Trevor Squires comments,

I recently read your review of the BDP-80 on the website.  As a fellow Oppo owner, I’m curious to hear the thoughts of others on their various offerings.  I’m glad to hear that they’ve delivered another winner in their entry level blu-ray unit.  Again, not surprising… :)
One minor point worth mentioning on the following excerpt:
‘Though I haven’t seen or heard the BDP-83’s improved performance at thrice the price, I am somewhat skeptical at such an improvement when the BDP-80  is this good, especially when you consider that it’s all a question  of which chipsets are used for the audio and video circuits.”
At thrice the price, the player you’re referring to is actually the BDP-83SE ($899), not the ‘regular’ 83 ($499).  From what is claimed, the 83SE has substantial enhancements in the analog section for the dedicated 2-channel analog outputs, vs the 83.
Also of note, in contrast to the BDP-80’s configurable 7.1 analog output, both the BDP-83 and BDP-83SE have separate dedicated 2-channel analog outputs, featuring a different DAC chipset (ESS Sabre32) than the 7.1 analog output (standard ESS Sabre).  I’m not sure which chipset is utilized in the BDP-80.
In January, I started out with the 83SE, and was very impressed.  A few months ago, I acquired a further analog board upgrade from Nuforce (i.e. 83NE - Nuforce Edition), which is an Oppo certified upgrade (unlike Modwright, Jena Labs, etc).
In fact, the Nuforce upgrade is a modified 83SE audio board.  While impressive in the 83SE, this step has taken the 2-channel analog performance even further.  IMHO, at $1295 USD, the 83NE is a killer 2-channel audio player.  The fact that it’s also a stellar video transport is pure gravy!


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3 Responses to “OPPO BDP-80 Universal Blu-ray Player”

  1. Ron W c-unknown Says:

    In the case of Oppo and especially its most recent product offerings, I think, once and for all, the idea of it providing excellent performance for the money is really no longer relevant. It more than “holds its own” with any other companies comparable product, “regardless of price”!

  2. Todd Sauve c-unknown Says:

    I have owned the Oppo BDP-80 since January of this year and can state unequivocally that it is absolutely superb. As a universal disc player I can’t imagine any realistic reason for someone to pay more for something else–it just won’t look or sound any better!

  3. Sil V c-ca Says:

    I wanted the Oppo BDP-83 but realistically with my system the Oppo BDP-80 was more than I needed and it’s a great quiet unit. I am glad that it doesn’t have a fan since those things get noise and then die. The unit runs cool and works perfectly and as long as the updates are released as needed this will keep me happy.
    I feel that OPPO’s tech support is their if you have any issues and will be correct them, unlike the big boys that disco the units after 6 months and never look back for upgrades – LG/Samsung.
    Cheers… get this unit it’s a fantastic player/deal.

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